Fines increased in work zone as excavation begins on 1.2-mile stretch of Basin Avenue
Warning to drivers: Nye County Sheriff’s Office aims to increase the presence of patrol deputies in the area of the construction zone.
Basin Avenue from Highway 160 to Blagg Road is now an active construction site but some motorists are blatantly disregarding that fact, leading Nye County officials to stress the need for safety as drivers make their way through the work zone.
“During the past few weeks, work has begun on a multi-phase road and utilities project on a nearly 1.2 mile stretch of Basin Avenue in Pahrump,” Nye County Public Information Officer Arnold Knightly said this week. “The county road staff and safety officers are already seeing drivers frequently ignoring construction zone signage, driving past flaggers and not slowing down, despite additional signage.”
The issue has become such a problem that the county has arranged with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office to increase the presence of patrol deputies in the area. “NCSO has an empty patrol vehicle stationed at each end of the construction area and a motorcycle deputy is patrolling,” Knightly told the Pahrump Valley Times on Thursday, reporting that in just a few short hours, that deputy had already given out six citations.
Aside from endangering themselves and others, those who commit traffic infractions in a work zone stand the chance of receiving hefty fines. “Nevada Revised Statute 484.3667 doubles the penalty for speeding, up to $1,000 in any marked road construction or maintenance work zone when workers are present,” Knightly noted, adding, “According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, work zone crashes claim three lives every day.”
The Basin Avenue improvement project began early last month and much of the work necessary to pave the way for the rebuild is being undertaken by Nye County itself. Public works director Tom Bolling said his department will be handling all of the excavation, backfill and grading. Once Nye County crews complete their tasks, bids will be taken from area contractors for the concrete and asphalt pavement portions.
Bolling said the intersection of Basin Avenue and Dahlia Street, which sees plenty of use, will be entirely reworked and full improvements will be made to the roadway where it fronts Petrack Park and the eastern edge of the old Binion Ranch property. The remainder of the road will include one lane in each direction with bike lanes on both sides.
“The project is from Highway 160 to just north of the Blagg Road intersection. Construction times are 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday,” Knightly detailed. “This week, the construction crews are focused on the Sisk Street and Ford Place intersections on Basin Avenue.”
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at email@example.com
Work Zone Safety Tips
The Nevada Department of Transportation offers the following tips for driving in construction zones:
- Always buckle up.
- Always slow to posted work zone speed limits.
- Pay full attention. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed and people and vehicles may be working near the road.
- Minimize distractions, such as cell phone use.
- Keep consistent with traffic flow.
- Make any necessary work zone merges in advance and only weave in and out of traffic when needed.
- Only make lane changes when necessary and use proper turn signals for lane changes.
- Keep a safe distance from cars ahead, traffic barriers, construction equipment and workers.
- Don’t tailgate. The most common highway work zone crash is a rear-end collision.
- Watch for and following all warning, lane/ramp closure, and construction detour signs and be prepared to change lanes or merge as directed by road signs or flaggers.
- Continue to pay attention to work zone signs, even in areas of long-term road work.
- Remain calm. Remember that work zones are not there to inconvenience you; they are necessary to improve the roadway.
- Don’t resume normal driving speed until you see roadway signs indicating it is safe to do so.
- Remember that all transportation and safety agency vehicles on the road are at work, whether inside a work zone or not. Drive attentively, as these vehicles may need to make quick stops or turns.
- Plan ahead and give yourself time to reach your destination.